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Wine Festival

Colorado Wine Festivals in Some of the State’s Most Beautiful Places

I write a lot about beer because Colorado is filled to the brim with great craft beer. However, our wine scene is pretty spectacular too and I happen to love wine, so here’s a collection of five spectacular wine festivals that are taking place this summer in some of Colorado’s most beautiful towns.

Crested Butte Center For The Arts Wine and Food Festival 2016. (Photo/Nathan Bilow)

Crested Butte Center For The Arts Wine and Food Festival 2016. (Photo/Nathan Bilow)

Telluride Wine Festival, June 22-25, 2017

TellurideWineFestival.com

Telluride’s remoteness is part of its charm. A trip to this region comes with awe-inspiring vistas that you’ll find nowhere else.

Colorado Wine Festivals, Telluride Wine Festival, courtesy shot.

Telluride Wine Festival

The Telluride Wine Festival has been running for 36 years and features seminars, parties, luncheons, etc. You can pick your level of involvement at this wine festival that includes free events as well.

The Culinary Village in Mountain Village is a new feature this year. It’s free to stroll through Culinary Village where you’ll be treated to culinary demos, bands, wine tasting and more.

Keystone Wine & Jazz Festival, July 15-16, 2017

KeystoneFestivals.com

Having attended twice, Keystone Wine & Jazz is a personal favorite of mine. It’s free to stroll through the event that sprawls throughout the Keystone Village. In addition to the hundreds of wines being served from dozens of booths, there’s endless music on various stages.

Colorado Wine Festivals - Where to Drink Grapes this Summer, Keystone Wine & Jazz Festival

Keystone Wine & Jazz Festival

Everyone has a good time at this festival, including children who love Keystone’s Kidtopia and the festival’s Kid Zone.

Whether you love wine and want to learn more at one of the festival’s various workshops, or just enjoy listening to great music in the sunshine, the Keystone Wine & Jazz Festival is for you.

Crested Butte Wine & Food Festival, July 26-30, 2017

CBWineandFood.com

Without a doubt, Crested Butte is one of Colorado’s most picturesque towns, and while the town has an old-timey feel, the Crested Butte Wine & Food Festival is anything but old-fashion.

Crested Butte Center For The Arts Wine and Food Festival 2016. (Photo/Nathan Bilow)

Crested Butte Center For The Arts Wine and Food Festival 2016. (Photo/Nathan Bilow)

This is a first-rate wine event with a Grand Tasting that features more than 500 wines. The five-day festival has a large variety of seminars to choose from and includes outdoor events such as the Standup Paddle Board & Lunch outing on July 29.

Steamboat Wine Festival, August 9-13, 2017

SteamboatWineFestival.com

As many of you know, I’m a huge fan of Steamboat Springs. While there’s a ski resort, there’s also a lot of real people who call this town home and that gives it a welcoming feel.

Colorado Wine Festivals - Where to Drink Grapes this Summer, SWF

Photo courtesy of Steamboat Wine Festival.

Steamboat Wine Festival is a celebration of the town’s refined side. This festival has grown into a destination event that includes master winemakers and culinary celebs.

It’s a “stay and play” sort of event that invites guests to enjoy a long list of wine-centric activities throughout the festival. There’s everything from a hiking outing with mimosas to Wine on the Nine, a best ball tournament with a nice wine finish.

Colorado Mountain Wine Festival, September 14-17, 2017

ColoradoWineFest.com

The largest and oldest wine festival in the state, Colorado Mountain Wine Festival is the granddaddy of all Colorado wine festivals. This year the event turns 26.

Colorado Wine Festivals - Where to Drink Grapes this Summer Lisa Levy at CO Mountain Wine Fest

Photo courtesy of Dancing in My Head Photography.

Located in one of Colorado’s most fantastic agricultural areas, guests will enjoy a variety of farm-to-table food events at the festival, as well as guided tours of the region. “Festival in the Park” takes place on Saturday during the event and is the highlight with live music, grape stomping, chef demos and seminars.

Being the largest wine festival means that you should purchase your tickets early and plan your attack. Some local hotels fill up months in advance, especially ones in Palisade. Thankfully, Grand Junction is just 12 miles away.

This is only a small list of the many wine festivals that happen across Colorado every year. If you have one that you love, please tell me about it in the comment section.

Best of HeidiTown 2016, Colorado Festivals & Travel

I used to call this annual post “Top 10 HeidiTown Highlights,” but I’m going to change it up this year because everyone loves a “Best Of” list, right? It’s a hard post for me to compose because every year seems to bring with it many incredible Colorado experiences. This makes it hard to boil an entire year down to ten major highlights, but every year I do it.

Trinidad, it's not what you think

Having a blast at Cardango, the ArtoCade’s evening, adults-only party.

This was a big year. I turned forty and we traveled a lot – to every corner of the state and the middle parts too. One of the major highlights was visiting Trinidad, Colorado (1) for ArtoCade, an art car extravaganza. This town blew us away. I love being surprised (in a good way) about a new place and I’m truly excited about the future of this friendly, quirky community.

Best of HeidiTown 2016 Colorado Travel & Festivals. Trinidad, Colorado

Trinidad, Colorado. so much potential!

Another standout experience was staying at a Never Summer (2) yurt near Cameron Pass last winter with our old dog, Xena. We’d never stayed in a yurt, let alone during winter and it was terrific. I loved the smell of the wood burning stove and the feeling of total peace as I snuggled into our yurt’s queen bed. I didn’t even mind having to use the outhouse, something I usually hate with a fierce passion. Continue reading

Christmas in Ouray, It’s Not Too Early to Start Planning

There are still 144 days until Christmas, so please don’t panic, however, it’s never too soon to plan holiday travel. And after this summer heatwave we’ve been experiencing, a cool down in the beautiful village of Ouray, Colorado sounds heavenly.

Spend Christmas in Ouray, photo by Dan Navakowski

Photo by Dan Navakowski & used with permission.

Imagine spending a wintry weekend surrounded by snowy peaks in Ouray, Colorado. Snowshoe on a local trail, enjoy a delicious meal or cozy up with a warm whiskey drink at KJ Wood Distillers. Top it all off with Ouray’s Wine, Chocolate & Cheese Festival.

Discounted tickets to Ouray’s Wine, Chocolate & Cheese Festival

The Annual Wine, Chocolate & Cheese Festival takes place during Ouray’s Winterfest, a seven-week holiday season of events and promotions. It starts after Thanksgiving and last through the Ouray Ice Festival in January. Festive activities take place throughout Winterfest, including Wine, Chocolate & Cheese Festival.

Spend Christmas in Ouray at Wine, Chocolate & Cheese Festival. HeidiTown.com

This blog post is your chance to purchase discounted tickets to Wine, Chocolate & Cheese Festival, and to start planning your winter getaway in Ouray.

This year’s event takes place on Saturday, December 10, 2016.

This festival features Colorado wines, chocolate and cheeses, and has expanded to include local craft distillers and arts and crafts. Of course, there’s live music too and this year’s festival theme is 1930’s Swing.

Ouray’s Wine, Chocolate & Cheese Festival is a beautiful way to ring in the holidays with a few of everyone’s favorite things. And it’s also an opportunity to purchase last minute Colorado gifts for all your favorite people.

Spend Christmas in Ouray. Cheese table at Wine, Chocolate & Cheese Festival. HeidiTown.com

Click here and enter “HeidiTown” into the “Enter Promotional Code” box to receive a 10% discount on your 2016 tickets to Ouray’s Wine, Chocolate & Cheese Festival. Promotion runs through August 31, 2016.

Ouray’s Wine, Chocolate & Cheese Festival is online at ColoradoWineFest.org.

Start planning your visit to Ouray at OurayColorado.com.

Each year, Ouray’s Wine, Chocolate & Cheese Festival supports a local non-profit and this year’s benefactor is Weehawken Creative Arts, helping kids and adults in Ouray County and neighboring communities discover their creative potential through the arts.

Winterfest is supported by the Annual Ouray Jeep Raffle, a half-century-long community fundraiser that gives participants the opportunity to win a jeep.

Faith Perry at Ouray's Wine, Chocolate & Cheese Festival. HeidiTown.com

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This post is a paid advertisement. Interested in marketing your event, festival or destination with HeidiTown.com? Please email TheMayor@HeidiTown.com.

Five new festivals in Colorado this summer

New festivals crop up every summer in Colorado and it’s hard to keep track of them all, but I try. Here are five new ones that will appeal to a variety of different tastes. 

Tequila & Tacos, Winter Park, July 9, 2016

Winter Park is a wonderful summer festival town and when Tequila & Tacos came across my radar, I immediately saved the date on my calendar.

Located in one of Colorado’s best festival venues, Hideaway Park, this new event is a celebration of one of my husband’s favorite things (tequila) and one of my favorite things (tacos) – so, yes, we have to go.

Five new festivals in Colorado this summer

As you might expect, Tequila & Tacos includes tequila tasting and taco tasting, plus, live music provided by The Rick Lewis Project.

Keystone River Run Village Art Festival, July 30-31, 2016

Keystone is another great summer festival town. River Run Village is well-laid out for fun fests such as Wine & Jazz Festival and the Mountain Town Music Festival. This art event is the newest festival in the Keystone Festivals summer lineup.

 

Five new festivals in Colorado this summer

There will be 80 artists at this juried, outdoor event. Admission is free.

Vertex Festival, Buena Vista, August 5-7, 2016

This new “camping” festival is located in one of the most beautiful areas of Colorado. The Vertex Festival website states, “Vertex merges the best of worlds to create a present-day frontier where anything is possible. Diverse music, exhilarating outdoor adventures and artful fun and games bring people together for an enduring shared experience.”

Five new festivals in Colorado this summer

Vertex includes lots of live music, field trips, art events and more. If you’re looking for an event that will inspire creativity in a fantastic destination, Vertex may be the festival for you.

Farm to Fiddle Festival, Hotchkiss, August 12-13, 2016

This festival makes me want to start singing, “these are a few of my favorite things!”

Five new festivals in Colorado this summer

Hotchkiss, Colorado is in Delta County, which is our state’s hidden gem. The region is bountiful and offers everything from vineyards to farm stays, and this festival is a celebration of those things, plus arts and crafts. Events include music, demonstrations and of course, wine, hard cider and lots of delicious, farm fresh food.

Breckenridge Wine Classic, September 15-18, 2016

A new wine event is coming to Breckenridge, Colorado. This festival brings together food artisans, wineries, breweries, distilleries, epicurean purveyors and locally made products. There will be cooking demonstrations, seminars and other opportunities for wine education. Events will take place at various venues around town.

Five new festivals in Colorado this summer

The Breckenridge Wine Classic is for discriminating wine aficionados and it is also for those who may be new to the wine world.

If you know of any new festivals in Colorado this summer that aren’t listed here, please leave me a note in the comment section. 

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HeidiTown Gives Back: Wine Fest & Disabled Resource Services

WineFest_logo_new colorHeidiTown Gives Back took a hiatus for a few months, but it’s back. I started the HeidiTown Gives Campaign in 2012, because I wanted to use the HeidiTown platform to help organizations that help Coloradans.

The nonprofit I’m highlighting this month is a service that exists to help folks in their most desperate time of need. No one ever wants to believes that they will need an organization like Disabled Resource Services (DSR), but we never know. In the blink of an eye a person can become disabled, whether it’s through a traumatic accident or serious illness, and DRS is there to help.

DRS assists people of any age and any disability in Larimer County to live with as much independence as their disabilities allow. Many of the people who seek the services of DRS are living in poverty and a significant number are homeless. Read how DRS changes lives on their website, DisabledResourceServices.org.

A guide dog at Wine Fest. All photos courtesy of DRS.

A guide dog at Wine Fest. All photos courtesy of DRS.

DRS’s biggest fundraiser of the year is just around the corner, and that’s where I come in. I’m using this blog post to encourage you to attend Wine Fest, a Fort Collins’ tradition for 34 years.

What’s Wine Fest?

While it’s held in Fort Collins, Colorado, Wine Fest is not a locals-only event. Seventeen percent of last year’s attendee came from outside of Northern Colorado. In fact, ticket sales show that 12 different Colorado cities were represented at the event.

Wine Fest, Fort Collins. HeidiTown.com

And people aren’t just flocking to Wine Fest to support a good cause, they are coming for the more than 500 wines from more than 150 wineries. Not wine drinker, but want to support the cause? Being that the event is held in the Napa Valley of Craft Beer, several years ago the festival organizers added craft beer tasting to the event.

Like many nonprofit fundraisers there is an auction and raffle, but in addition to those standard fundraising activities, there’s a wine luge. Yes, your Rosé will be poured into the top of this ice sculpture and will race down a serpentine route to the bottom where it will splash into a your waiting wine glass.

wine luge ice sculpture at Wine Fest in Fort Collins, Colorado. HeidiTown.com

In addition to wine, there’s also food served at Wine Fest. Catered by more than 10 of Fort Collins’ best eateries, guests will not go hungry at Wine Fest.

Wine Fest will be held Friday, April 1, 2016 at the Fort Collins Marriott Hotel in the evening. Purchase your tickets at WineFestFC.org.

Featured Festival: Estes Park Winter Festival (Jan. 18-21, 2013)

Four years ago, Ryan and I decided to go snowshoeing in Rocky Mountain National Park, and afterwards we stopped in Estes Park and stumbled into what has become one of our favorite winter festivals.

Me & Jack at Estes Park Winter Festival 2012 HeidiTown

Goofing around with Jack at the 3rd Annual Estes Park Winter Festival in 2012.

At that time the Estes Park Winter Festival was a small affair, a lot of local cooks serving up chili and just a few beer and wine vendors, but what fun we had. We tasted every chili under the tent and then, like kids, took pictures all around the ice castle in the park.

We’ve watched this event grow and grow, but the organizers have done a great job keeping it organized. Why is it a favorite? We love chili – who doesn’t? And we love beer. This event combines beer, wine and chili and new this year, mac “˜n’ cheese. Yes, in addition to the massively popular chili cook off that pits restaurant against restaurant and amateur cook against amateur cook, the event organizers have added a mac “˜n’ cheese cook off.

chili cook off pic Estes Park Winter Festival 2012 HeidiTown

A chili taster at the Estes Park Winter Festival in 2012.

Not only do guests of the fest get to taste all the chili and mac “˜n’ cheese, they get to vote for their favorites. So put your New Year’s resolution on hold and go crazy!

Another great feature of Winter Festival is that it really is fun for all ages. There are activities for kids that include ice skating and an amazing interactive ice castle. Last year we attended Winter Fest with friends who have two little boys. The ice castle kept them entertained for hours.   There’s even more fun for the kiddos this year including a toboggan run and an interactive snow globe.

Having fun in and on the ice castle at Winter Festival 2012 Heiditown

Our friends' kids love the interactive ice castle at the 3rd Annual Estes Park Winter Festival in 2012.

4th Annual Estes Park Winter Festival

Location: Fairgrounds at Stanley Park

Date: January 18-21, 2013

Festivities get underway on Friday with the FREE Ceilidh Barn Dance that includes live music, a caller, dancing, a bar and more.

Saturday & Sunday enjoy the MAIN (ticketed) event from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Monday, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., it’s the Block Party across from Bond Park at the ice skating rink. There will be pony rides, a petting zoo, balloon artist and FREE ice skating. Monday is also a FREE day at Rocky Mountain National Park.

For the entire lineup of events & to buy tickets go to

www.estesparkwinterfestival.com

HeidiTown readers get special perks at Wine Fest!

Didn’t win a pair of tickets to Wine Fest in Fort Collins in last week’s HeidiTown contest?  Well, here is your chance to buy tickets and get treated like a star!  Wine Fest has created a special incentive package for HeidiTown readers.

If you purchase tickets through the link provided below, you will receive the following:

1. Two free raffle tickets for the Grand Wine  Fest Prize, a handmade wooden wine rack with a gift certificate to fill it with  wine.  Check-in at the Wine Fest Will Call  Table and show your badge (printed or smart phone  version) to receive your bonus raffle  tickets.

2. A wine sample exclusive to blog partner fans. Visit the  Synergy Fine Wines table and show  this badge, either printed or on your smart phone, to Mark Eppel, the Synergy wine expert, to receive your  sample  of Scott Base Pinot Noir, 2009, Central Otago, New Zealand, from the Allan Scott Family Winery.

Click the logo below to buy tickets.

Your tickets must be purchased through this link

to receive these special perks at Wine Fest.

Wine Fest Partner Badge

This is the  30th Anniversary of Wine Fest in Fort Collins, a wine tasting to benefit  Disabled Resource Services. DRS provides support for those living with disabilities in Larimer and Jackson counties. As one of the ten centers for independents in the state of Colorado, DRS provides resources to empower individuals with disabilities to achieve their maximum level of independence through advocacy, awareness and access to the community.

Wine Fest features  500 different wines  paired with food from Fort Collins’ restaurants. The evening also includes prizes, music, entertainment and a silent auction that raised $12,000 last year. For those who prefer beer, that delicious beverage will be available as well.

This year’s Wine Fest is being held at the  Hilton  located at 425 W. Prospect Road in Fort Collins, Colorado.  The event is scheduled for  Friday, March 23  with general admission at 7 p.m.

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